Synaptics showcases first ever In-Display fingerprint sensor

Synaptics has not confirmed the OEM it is working with to bring in-display fingerprint sensor.


Exactly a year ago, Synaptics announced a new fingerprint sensor that could be placed beneath the glass on the bottom bezel of a phone’s front side. That led to plenty of speculation that the Galaxy S8 would come with the fingerprint scanner buried under its AMOLED display, but it didn’t. Today, Synaptics has unveiled an in-display fingerprint sensor that it says is already in “mass production with a top five OEM,” suggesting we could see one on the Galaxy S9.

synaptics 2The new “Clear ID FS9500” (catchy name) fingerprint sensor is designed for smartphones with near-bezel-free displays, and provides fingerprint authentication on demand completely within the display panel itself. The Clear ID FS9500 sensor offers the same type of one-touch authentication we know today, but does it underneath the display glass — and it can handle a variety of situations including wet, dry and cold fingers.

Synaptics says the technology is also secure with AES encryption and includes a range of authentication features OEMs can choose from. One of the great features of this in-display solution is that it can be turned on and off at will, meaning that unlike traditional sensors it doesn’t occupy any space on the body of the phone when not needed.

synaptics 3Synaptics also doesn’t say when the first phones with in-display fingerprint sensors will hit the market, so it’s possible such phones will only arrive in the second half of 2018. According to the last quarter data from IDC, Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi were among the top smartphone manufacturers in addition to Apple and Samsung. Apple, meanwhile, is clearly more interested in Face ID and is unlikely to look back towards fingerprint sensors anytime soon.

This in-screen fingerprint sensor technology could certainly end up in all sorts of phones in 2018, but given the hints here we wouldn’t be surprised if the Samsung Galaxy S9 was one of the first. Following the relative debacle of the Galaxy S8’s rear-mounted fingerprint sensor and promises of upgraded iris scanning on the GS9, we could see the removal of the dedicated physical fingerprint sensor on the new phone.

Stay tuned with us for more details.

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